Surprise Raids On Private Travel Bus Firms, 60 Lakh Penalty Levied For Evading Taxes

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Hyderabad: Just overnight for the first time, the Road Transport Authority earned a whopping Rs 60 lakh in revenue after conducting surprise raids on private travel companies. The raids were conducted on Friday night at five locations in Hyderabad and 14 buses were found plying without paying taxes.

The buses were fined a 200 per cent penalty, a transport official told DECCAN Chronicle.

Between 10 pm and 6 am, about 350 private buses on popular routes to Vijayawada and Bengaluru were inspected.

According to Section 8 of the Taxation Act, contract buses have to pay taxes every quarter at Rs 3,675 per seat. If they fail to comply and are held during inspection within a month after the deadline, then such violators have to pay 50 per cent of the total payable amount in penalty. In the second month after the deadline, the penalty is increased to 100 per cent, and in the third month to 200 per cent.

The contract buses were failing to meet the deadline and were slapped with penalty and RTA collected up to three times the expected revenue.

Not just non-payment of taxes, buses were also fined for plying without permits and also no safety measures. Few buses were also fined for overloading.

Mr K. Papa Rao, deputy transport commissioner (DTC), vigilance and enforcement, told the leading daily that non-payment of taxes was costing the state's exchequer and it won't be tolerated.

Such raids are common usually during the festival time when private travels take out extra buses. Friday's raid comes at a time when schools summer holidays are ending.

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